Synth Site: Korg: Electribe EA-1: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.3 out of 5
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Jeff Gavett (aka demc) a part-time user from USA writes:
I got the EA-1 along with the ER-1 as my first synth and drum machine. After sitting and tweaking with the EA-1 at my local music store until the employees told me to leave I knew i had to have it. You can record in step sequencing, just like an x0x (but with notes instead of drum tones), or set it to record what you play while you play it. People complain it's like a toy, or its cheap feeling, or whatever. Think about the machines you 'pro' guys slobber all over all the time. Tb-303. Who the hell wouldn't call that thing a toy when they saw it? The EA-1 is basically 2 monophonic bass or lead synths in one. 2 parts (one voice each) can be applied to each 4 measure pattern, but the monophony won't cut off the effects or delay.

The EA-1 has 2 oscillators for each voice, which can be sawtooth, square, sine, audio in, ring mod, sync mod, or decimator mod. It has portamento control. Oscillator 2 has a pitch offset to make basically a 2part chord out of one note. Usable on either vice are cutoff, resonance, EG Int for the envelope shape, decay, level, distortion, tempo delay depth and time, and chorus/flanger depth and time.

The EA-1 also has the great motion control feature also seen in the ER-1, and implemented much in the same way. If you want to see me talk about that check out my ER-1 review.

While the lowest you can play on the keyboard will end up around 23 hz, when using an external controller (like a midi keyboard or cakewalk), this box can put out some STRONG bass around 20 hz or even lower. Strong fat leads, pounding bass, freakout tweaking, pads, you can do it all with this. Some great analogue emulation sounds on this baby too. Who cares if its only duophonic. I just layer my tracks with acid and it doesnt matter any more, you can easily set up the ea-1 through cakewalk, cubase, or acid, and get more than the 2 voices at a time.

True, this might not be for purists or 'artists' who see the money hole getting bigger as a sign of their music getting better, but if you're creative enough to pull sounds out of this box and roll your own, hell yes, buy this and buy this now. Screw the 303, I'd rather have this any day.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Sunday-Jul-09-2000 at 22:43
Jeff a professional user from USA writes:
Don't know what crawled up Super Pro Snob's ass, but I'd have to agree with Clarence. The EA-1 is a great intro to analog sounds for beginners, but it's just not a very deep unit. And it does look like a toy. Clarence said nothing about it not being pro or pro enough. And if you read what he said about drum machines, the R-8 is not a super expensive drum machine. You can get one used for quite cheap, cheaper than the new BOSSes! I'd probably give the EA-1 a 4 but a very weak 4.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Friday-Jun-23-2000 at 00:19
Clarence a professional user from USA writes:
Previously I gave my EA-1 a 4 or a 5 rating, but after using it for a while now (going on 5 months), I've come to the conclusion that it deserves more like a 3 rating. It does not have lasting power like the other gear in my arsenal (e.g. D-50, Pulse, Matrix 1000, etc.). The EA-1 is a "2-trick pony" (one for each of the voices). The unit is NOT STEREO. Stereo sounds are very important to me. One line out is indeed louder than the other and there is bleed through as another user mentioned (could this be Korg's attempt at adding "character" to the unit?). At first glance/listen, you can create some incredible (or incredibly weird) sounds with it, but after using it for about an album's worth of material, it is painfully clear that the unit is very limited in what it can do. Many of the presets show off the unit as being able to play both an acid bassline and power lead synth, which is great if you never play more than one note at a time with either voice. I dunno, but the idea of not being able to play some form of a chord with a power lead synth gives me a very negative impression of the unit. What it is good for is a gentle introduction to analog-sounding sounds. Sure, there's only 2 oscillators and 3 very basic waveforms and 3 very crappy fx that add grunge to the sound, but I, for one, would not have learned to appreciate building analog sounds without being introduced to this unit. It's a great stepping stone to a more powerful digital-analog synth, such as a Novation Nova, which I recently upgraded to. And let's not forget that digital-analog, while not sounding as "full-bodied" and "varied" as true analog, is much more tameable in the context of music. Rather than spending months trying to get a sound to sound "just right" and having it sit right in a mix and perfectly positioned in the composition, we can just rely on the digital-analog synth to play a note more or less on time each time and the way we want it to sound (assuming we can time the oscillators just right). So the EA-1 gets high marks for beginning users. I don't like judging any synth by appearances alone, but the EA-1 looks like a cross between a cheap toy and something a techno-geek-in-a-garage built. Perhaps this is the unit's appeal appearance-wise. The buttons do not appear to be velocity-sensitive (as measured by my sequencer sucking up the EA-1's MIDI out) although the knob movements are recordable, so that's a plus (in discrete steps unfortunately; I'm running Digital Performer 2.5 and I believe 2.7 is supposed to have ultra-accurate timing/recording capability). There aren't many knobs to twist, which is good for beginning analog enthusiasts, but terrible for people who want to delve deeper. So it's not a very deep unit. It probably wasn't meant to be but at, $349, it will add some cool sounds to your arsenal for about an album's worth of material. Once you "master" the unit (or get sick of it) and want to delve deeper into analog-like sounds, buy the Nova at three times the price. The Nova definitely gives you much more than 3 times the power with its 12 voices, 42 fx (jeez!!!), vocoder capability, loads of arpeggiator rhythms, and much more. I compare the EA-1 to a Roland TR-505 drum machine. I thought it was the shit until I upgraded to an Alesis SR-16, and then to a BOSS DR-660, and then finally to a Roland R-8. Funny how the oldest drum machine ended up being the best. Anyway, if you'd like to hear what the EA-1 is capable of, take a listen to some great stuff on my web site, especially the stuff I mixed for Gorgeous Girl. It's got a number of sounds from the EA-1 in it.

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Thursday-Jun-22-2000 at 10:34
jack a professional user from ohio writes:
ea-1 is and always will be a toy i had mine for 3 days. i bought in a pintch...what a waste of time and money the channels bled through...i gave it to my daughter to play with before i traded it for a pc a 100mhz pc i might add cause the resale value on something like that is noexistant ! if you got 1 and want to sell it you better find a sap!

Rating: 1 out of 5 posted Sunday-Jun-04-2000 at 19:54
ole a professional user from US writes:
it has a really cool VA sound, if anything the best word for it would b: neon. the bigest downside is that the distortion is rather thin, although it does a great job at some acid tweeks it lacks alot of meat imo,. but all in all a great box with its own sound.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Jun-02-2000 at 21:52
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